• Trump took time during Dan Gable's medal ceremony to talk about the "rigged" November election
  • Gable sports a near-undefeated professional wrestling record and an equally impressive coaching history
  • Trump abruptly walked out of his own office when faced with reporters' questions, leaving Gable confused

President Donald Trump couldn’t resist veering into election conspiracy theories while awarding the Presidential Medal of Freedom to legendary wrestler Dan Gable.

In a Monday ceremony awarding Gable with the nation’s highest civilian honor, Trump twice stopped to talk about the “totally rigged” election, as captured on C-SPAN.

Gable, an accomplished wrestler and coach, posted a 117-1 record on the mat with Iowa State and won six Olympic matches without losing a single point at the 1972 Munich Games. As a coach, his Iowa teams won 15 NCAA titles.

While Trump talked at length about Gable’s various records and accomplishments, he paused to argue that the recent presidential election had been stolen from him.

“He won 117 consecutive matches and lost only one. Well, you know, in politics I won two, so I’m 2-0, and that’s pretty good too. We’ll see how that turns out,” he said.

Trump abruptly walked out of his own office when faced with reporters' questions, leaving Gable in an awkward position. Gable had helped campaign for Trump in Iowa, calling the president "a champion."

Trump still refused to concede the election to President-elect Joe Biden, counting on increasingly far-fetched legal fights in a last-ditch attempt to overturn the results.

Dan Gable
US President Donald Trump presents the Presidential Medal of Freedom to wrestler Dan Gable during a ceremony in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC on December 7, 2020. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP)

When questioned by reporters, Trump returned to one of the main allegations, that voting machines had shifted votes to his opponent.

“The election was totally rigged, using machines that nobody knows ownership,” he said. “They have glitches, as they call them, glitches, glitches that weren’t glitches. They got caught sending out thousands of votes, all against me.”

Like his other election conspiracies, these allegations are entirely lacking in evidence. In a statement about the allegations from now-distanced lawyer Sydney Powell, voting company Dominion said the claims were “baseless, senseless, physically impossible, and unsupported by any evidence whatsoever.”

Trump then abruptly walked out of the ceremony in the face of further questions, leaving Gable standing confused before shrugging and saying, “he’s gone” to uncomfortable laughter from reporters.

Trump recently handed out another medal of freedom to Lou Holtz, another sports coach notable for both an impressive collegiate record and staunchly conservative politics.